Werner Seligmann (1930—1998) has been regarded, worldwide, as an outstanding architect and educator. From designing innovative projects, while still in architectural school, to becoming Dean of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, he embodied the notion of the practitioner/educator.

Although he was inspired by other greats of the 20th century: Frank Lloyd Wright; Mies van der Rohe; Alvar Aalto; and foremost, Le Corbusier, his projects never were just imitative; instead, Seligmann developed a recognizable style all his own. Conversely, the inspiration he derived from these masters was to influence hundreds of students and fellow practitioners over his 44-year career.

Most of his drawings and photos had been transferred to archives at Syracuse University. Unfortunately, because they had been created during the decades before the computer age, most drawings had not been properly digitized and were in danger of being lost from public view forever.

Professor emeritus Bruce M Coleman and his associates spent years poring through the available materials, and identified 42 projects that best represent the diversity and creativity of Seligmann, spanning the years 1954 to 1998. These projects have never before been compiled into one reference; even die-hard Seligmann followers will discover projects they have never seen before, or even knew existed.

Coleman’s painstaking work to bring these archival materials back to life, is augmented by outstanding photography by Eduard Hueber, Timothy Hursley, and the author, of all of Seligmann’s still-extant projects, and an insightful introduction by Val K Warke.

This collection of projects is an essential addition to any library of 20th century, modern architecture and will offer discovery and inspiration for students and practitioners alike.


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About the Author

Professor emeritus Bruce M Coleman received his BArch from Cornell University in 1967, where Werner Seligmann had been his most influential professor. After graduation, and working for two years in his home city of Cleveland, he returned to central New York in 1969 to work in the office of Werner Seligmann, where he was to remain for ten years. From then on, he was involved with all the later Seligmann projects and was project architect on several.

From 1976 to 2014, he taught at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, where he achieved the rank of full professor. There, he taught architectural design at every grade level, launched the Computer Aided Design program, taught Advanced Building Systems, and for six years headed the School’s study-abroad program in Florence Italy.

During Seligmann's final months, Coleman acted as impromptu biographer to collect Seligmann’s observations about the architectural profession and his recollection of earlier projects. After Seligmann’s passing, the archives of the firm were presented to the SU Special Collections, where Coleman spent over two years curating the material. Professor Coleman now resides in blissful retirement near Chapel Hill North Carolina with his spouse, Linda, and three cats and a dog.